The Julio Jones Debacle

November 28th, 2017

Called out.

Joe has been pretty harsh on a good man, Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith, for that atrocious gameplan he had against the Dixie Chicks Sunday.

While Joe feels bad for calling out a class act like Smith, Joe isn’t off base here.

It was as if Smith — who was with Atlanta when they drafted Jones and got within a few yards of going to ,a Super Bowl with Jones — had never seen Jones before. It wasn’t much different than the “Tennessee Ready” game when Lovie Smith, just weeks away from (allegedly) studying tape of a quarterback who was high on the Bucs draft board, Marcus Mariota, seemed as if he never ever saw Marcus Mariota run a spread-option.

Did Mike Smith eat too much turkey last week? Letting poor Ryan Smith, in his sixth NFL start, take the brunt of the responsibilities for covering Jones — in single-coverage no less! — bordered on irresponsible when you could have manned Jones with Brent Grimes, or tried any number of junk defenses to try to slow him down.

Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi was watching the Bucs-Dixie Chicks game and was aghast that it appeared as if Mike Smith didn’t think Jones was a serious weapon, and had no answer to limit him.

However, Lombardi, who in weeks past has been a loud Dirk Koetter critic, stated Koetter should have intervened as the head coach. Lombardi detailed this in his podcast with “The Ringer.”

“You know what blows me away? Part of this book I am writing, the chapter I am on now is about defensive principles. One of the things I am talking about is, you have to take away the No. 1 option [of your opponent], right? Well, with the Buccaneers, you have to think Julio Jones is the No. 1 option. Right? [How the Bucs did not slow down Jones at all] that, to me, you are not trying to take away your [opponent]. Like, make [Mohamed] Sanu beat you. Make [Austin] Hooper beat you. Make Taylor Gabriel beat you. Make someone else beat you. It’s remarkable! For the most part, Tampa was ridiculous.

“At some point, doesn’t Dirk Koetter get on the headset and say, ‘Hey, Mike Smith, let’s double Julio every time.’ Once he got to 100 [yards]. ‘Can we double him?’ … I mean, at some point, right?

“I’ve heard Tony Romo say it, talking to him. Football is such a game of adjustments.”

You can hear the full segment of Lombardi breaking down the Bucs-Dixie Chicks game at the 16:15 mark in the link above.

Yeah, Sunday was Mike Smith’s Tennessee Ready game. Joe hasn’t figured out a cute nickname but the result was equally nauseating. It was as if Smith woke up from a three-day long tryptophan hangover and didn’t realize or remember Jones is a freak wide receiver.

34 Responses to “The Julio Jones Debacle”

  1. Bucs_in_Spain Says:

    The Julio Joke?

  2. Gobucs Says:

    Well when you have clowns for coaches what do you expect?

    First of all koetter didn’t hire smith because he was the best option. He hired him cause they had a deal that if koetter was to be head coach he would give smith a job.

    That is a fire-able offense and shouldn’t be overlooked.

    Between the absolutely horrible offensive play calling and the terrible schemes on defense they should just resign.

    Idiots. All of them.

    Same ol crap year in and year out.

    The glazers do not know how to hire competent people to run the team.

    But maybe it’s not their fault I mean who would want to come here anyway?

  3. Buc believer Says:

    Maybe Mike Smith is really a “genius” for coaching so bad! He does have a two year guaranteed deal so if he coaches really bad he knows he gets his ass fired at the end of the year. Then he gets paid a whole year for sitting on his couch! SMART! This must be the case because surely no one in coaching could be as stupid as he has been.

  4. Hizzie Says:

    Joe this is the norm for Bucs football lately. Any player in a slump comes out of it against this defense. You would think on a couple of the crucial late down and distances he would double him. At the very least put your best corner on him. Who did Smith think Ryan was looking for to close the game.

  5. FortMyersDave Says:

    Lovie got fired in part due to his teams simply not being prepared to play on several Sundays along with numerous other factors. Smith and Koetter have done the same; allowing so many opponents (Cards, Vikes, Saints, Falcons) to seal club the Bucs in the first half while the offense scored 12 points (4 Fgs) in these losses. The D plays 10 yards ff the ball and gets picked apart while the O could not find the end zone. The Bucs looked unprepared in each of these 4 losses and did not look much better in losses to Carolina, Buffalo and the Pats where again the O was MIA in the first half with one TD vs the Pats, one vs the Bills and a goose egg to Carolina. Bucs O also had 3 points in the first half to the Jets…. See a pattern? Smith’s D is a sieve and in all but 2 games the O has looked like a 3rd string preseason roster up against the first team. Can anyone blame a fan to start asking for accountability of the coaches and GM right about now?????? Lets see if the Bucs actually put up some numbers against the Pack on Sunday……

  6. Wombat Says:

    This defense is a joke. Why Grimes didn’t line up against him all day is beyond me. We are thin at CB, and it shows week after week. Every other team has injuries at CB and manage to shut ME13 down as well as Brate. This team is an embarrassment, all you people blaming Licht need to look at whats happening on the field. Its coaches and game plan responsible for this debacle. Every single player hasn’t played up to his potential. I would feel guilty take my pay check is I was a Bucs player.

  7. Rrsrq Says:

    How can you rank the worst defensive performance, how is the ATL worst than a less talented Card team or Case Keenum carving up the team again (they should’ve went after Case as backup (then we would really have a QB controversy) or Matt Moore in the second half and you rank the ATL the worse, they all rank as stank

  8. Hodad Says:

    I know H.C.’s get leeway in putting together their staffs, but it’s Licht’s job to not let it happen because Koetter, and Smith had a Buddy, buddy deal. Shouldn’t the great talent evaluater G.M. stepped in if he had a better option in mind? Smith’s defenses at Atlanta were the reason he got fired, some expert.

  9. Rrsrq Says:

    In the second half, the Falcons had their top three corners out of the game, Trufant, Alford and Poole and we still couldn’t get all of our talent involved consistently

  10. Waterboy Says:

    I like Dirk and pulling for him to make it another year but that’s my biggest problem with him, he takes too long to make adjustments. Whether it’s personnel or game plan he has to make quicker adjustments to resolve things that aren’t working.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Koetter can save his job primarily because I believe the Glazers really don’t want to fire another coach after 2 years.

    He will likely at the very least fire his friend Mike.

    And, it may be a blessing if Monken gets a college gig…..then he can hire an OC who would call plays. This may save him for at least another year.

    The question is Licht…..he has some hits….but lots of misses. We all know who they are.

  12. JonBuc Says:

    Perhaps Mike Smith owed Julio Jones a “solid”. He sure set him up for success. Maybe Mike Smith thought doing the opposite of Belichick ( i.e. not taking away the #1 weapon ) would trick the Falcons. Smiley Smith will land a head coaching gig soon enough. There has to be a junior varsity in need of his services.

  13. Tnew Says:

    Simple, Mike Smith has Julio on his fantasy roster.

  14. DBS Says:

    Hey. They got that new indoor practice facility. Out of the heat and in to the freezer.

  15. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    Smith has not made any adjustments in 11 games. I personally would have already fired him. The organization deserves better. A lot of talent on that Team.

  16. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Well Lixht did such a great job building this team and giving competent defensive weapons that could compete in the NFL what do you expect, the bucs are years away from competing with that crap they throw out there each week

  17. not there yet Says:

    Exactly what everyone except the Joe’s have been saying. If you’re not aware enough of your responsibility as a “head coach” to make “your” defensive coordinator make adjustments or simply make him double the one guy beating especially in what ended being a close game at one point then you have no business being a head coach. Even Lovie and Raheem had enough sense to do that, Raheem fired an offensive and defensive coordinator. The writing is on the wall, koetter doesn’t have the stones to be an NFL head coach and there’s probably a reason he’s been a coordinator so long, it simply appears it’s too much responsibility for him that he refuses to deal with defense. If Dungy can get fired for not paying attention to the offensive side of the ball surely koetter could if he can’t either side of the ball going on a consistent basis

  18. America's Groper Says:

    One would think that the Glaziers would be pi$$ed over all the coach’s and players hired under the current GM watch. No consistency and its killing their fan base $$$. Jason needs to be held accountable, he has been the 1 constant in the whole damn mess.

  19. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    First off it’s obvious you double team the very best receiver in the league.

    2nd I do it with my two best defenders not rookies although my backup defender IS a rookie but he has speed to cover and he has physicality to match up.

    So Smitty could have put Brent Grimes underneath and Evans over the top with a constant double team of two very athletic defensive backs.

    They could have spent the entire week of practice with Grimes and Evans working on their coverage..plenty of tape of JJ to be watched and practices where Grimes and Evans talked about their plans and how they wanted to cover him.

    I’ll go 9 defenders against their 10 if Julio is neutralized. Sanu is decent but he’s not unstoppable with single coverage.

  20. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    BTW…You can hold Koetter and Licht responsible for turning the defense over to Smitty but given their long history and independence when they are coordinators I do not think Koetter had anything to say to Smitty about his defense. He hired him…gave him a job and let him do it.

  21. Pat Says:

    Bring in Dungy in the same manner Jax brought in Coughlin and let Tony get this thing corrected with a defensive mindset first. The offensive side has some firepower already.

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    Mike Smith needs to go, plain and simple. And Koetter needs to be put on notice. What idiotic gameplan puts a journeyman DB on Julio Jones without help?! Secondly, how many yards does Julio have to rack up before the HC says enough is enough?!!!
    It’s completely inexcusable. It’s not even fair!

  23. FortMyersDave Says:

    Good idea Pat but I am not sure Dungy would go for it, he has a pretty decent gig with NBC right now and he does not have the “rumors” flying about him concerning coming back to a team in some function like say…….. Chuckie….. Still, one would think a guy like Dungy definitely could be a benefit to One Buc and help sort out some issues…….

  24. Eric Says:

    The scheme changed and results are the same.

    It was not Lovie’s scheme that was the problem.

    So what’s left? Mr. Licht perhaps.

  25. boxster Says:

    It was almost like when coach Lovie kicked the ball to Devin Hester and he immediately ran the ball back for a touchdown.

  26. passthebuc Says:

    Fact. good players do not want to come to Tampa.

    Why would good coaches come to Tampa?

  27. 813bucboi Says:



    your savior has embarrassed himself yet again….yet another blow under his belt….take dirk and smitty with you since you want to hide out!!!…GO BUCS!!!!

  28. TampaTown Says:

    You have Brent Grimes. Brent Grimes!! And you don’t put one of the best corners in the NFL on one of the best receivers? Stupid. Anyone see BG cover Calvin Johnson Megatron? Nice or not, Mike Smith has to go.

  29. D-Rome Says:

    The real “coach my scheme” is Dirk Koetter.

  30. JMarkBuc Says:

    Ft. Myers Dave

    “Still, one would think a guy like Dungy definitely could be a benefit to One Buc and help sort out some issues…….

    I said a couple weeks ago, that you could hire Dungy to work in the cafeteria at One Buc Place, and we would have 1000% more credibility than we do now.

    Wonder if Tony has a twitter account ? Let’s reach out and ask him if he’s interested. He still lives in Tampa, No?

  31. Bucamania Says:

    Lombardi is right, obviously. Heck, even us fans can see the stupidity this coaching staff displays every week.

    Hey, let’s put Ryan Smith 1-on-1 with Julio Jones. That should work.

    Let’s only rush four on 3rd and long and give the WRs plenty of cushion so they can convert 11 of 14 on 3rd downs.

    Let’s run Charles Sims on 3rd and short or maybe that wheel route JW can’t hit to save his life.

    Let’s run a pitch play at the goal line.

    3rd down – here comes the pass to Brate.

    Let’s NOT run that rollout, throwback play to OJ that always works.

    And then when you need 2 yards in 3 plays from the 19…

  32. godzilla13 Says:

    Lets not forget that even with Julio Jones catching 12 of 15 targets for 253 yards and 2 TD’s, at 7:57 to go in the 4th quarter, 2nd down, 2 yards for a first down on the Atlanta 19 yard line. Score Falcons 27 Buccaneers 20. Then we throw the ball three consecutive times? Jacquizz Rodgers had just ran for an 8 yard gain on first down. Run him again three times and I guarantee he gets the first down. Even with four starters out and the defensive scheme and offensive play calling, the Bucs should have won this game.

  33. sbucs Says:

    Everything about the Bucs situation is so sad its downright laughable.

  34. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    I wrote the exact same thing on these boards a dozen times yesterday. It’s insanity.

    The worst play call on defense I saw was the 3rd and long on Atlanta’s final TD drive to put the game away — 3rd and 8 and the DB is in single coverage giving Jones a 12 yard cushion and THEN backpedals at the snap. Julio waltzed to the first down marker turned and caught a wide open lob from Ryan.

    Mike Smith and the Bucs D are playing scared and playing not to get beat. Good D’s don’t do that. Good coaches don’t either. Sayonara